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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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What does Zaroff mean when he says "instinct is no match for reason" (from Richard Connell's "Then Most Dangerous Game")?

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General Zaroff claims that "Instinct is no match for reason" when speaking to Rainsford (Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game"). Zaroff has moved on from hunting animals because they "do not have a chance against" Zaroff any more. He has grown too skilled at the hunt. In order to find a more "dangerous game," Zaroff has traded animals for human beings. He prefers human beings because of their ability to reason. According to Zaroff, instinct (what animals possess) is no match for what humans possess (reason). It is, essentially, reason which sets humans apart form animals.

By stating that "instinct is no match for reason," Zaroff is placing mankind above that of the animal. Since instinct is ingrained and reason is taught, mankind proves itself far more superior than the animal.

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